Posts Tagged ‘love’

Ephesians 6:23-24  This week Pastor Ron continues his series in Ephesians by digging into the closing words of Paul in this book.  We learn what Paul wanted the most for the people of Ephesus.

Notes:

A.  What Paul wants most for the people he loves…    

1.  Peace

2.  Love

3.  Faith

4.  Grace

Please click on the link below to listen to this sermon.

Paul’s Closing Words

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Pastor Ron Lewis:  Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


Ephesians 5:28-30  This week Pastor Ron continues in his series, “Spirit-Filled Husbands And Wives,” as we study the command given for husbands.  Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies.  What does this mean?  We also see the analogy of Christ and the church in this marriage relationship.

Notes:

C.  The Analogy for Husbands to Apply (V28-30)                                                1corinthians12_27

1.  The analogy of Christ and the church V29b-30

 just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.

2.  The command for husbands V28a

So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies.

3.  The explanation for husbands V28b-29a

He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it,

Please click on the link below to listen to this helpful sermon.

The Command for Husbands

 

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Joe Casey: Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


 

Ephesians 5:22d   This week Joe Casey continues his series on the fruit of the Spirit. This time he lands on “patience.” Why were we created in the first place?  What is our purpose in life?  We were created to bear good fruit and glorify God.

Notes:

Longsuffering (Patence)                                       galatians5_22-23

1. Negative Example

2. Positive Example

Please click on the link below to listen to this very helpful sermon.

Fruit of the Spirit – Patience – Joe Casey

 

 

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Spiritual Depression: #5 “Fear of the Future,” a sermon by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

 


 

My thoughts:

Doctor Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues his sermon series on “Spiritual Depression.”  This time he addresses the issue of fearing what lies ahead, based on 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Every person who has had panic attacks or suffers from stress and anxiety should have this scripture memorized.  I can remember so well the first time I came across this scripture.  What stuck out for me that day were the words, “and of a sound mind.”

“You mean Lord, I do have a sound mind? You mean I am not crazy?  You mean I am not losing my mind?”  Those where my thoughts at the time.  I truly thought I was losing my mind and when I did I would never recover.  Oh, how scary that was.  Have you ever thought like that?

What comfort in those words that came from our Lord through the Apostle Paul.  It was something that I could hang onto.

Also, I thought, “If God did not give us a spirit of fear, then where did it come from.”  I knew I was fearful of almost everything.  I reasoned that the fear I was feeling must be coming from the enemy.  You know what? I was right.  Dr. Jones tells us in this sermon that the devil is relentless to discredit the name and work of God.  That he works to bring us down.  He doesn’t want us to be successful and do the work we are called to do.

Instead of a spirit of fear, God gave us a spirit of power.  That’s the Holy Spirit that lives in a Christian and gives us the supernatural power to do the things we need to do.  Also, He has given us a spirit of love.  That is the love of Christ in us.  This enables us to love others and do for others.

Last by not least is the spirit of a sound mind.  Oh my, that’s wonderful!  With a sound mind we can have self-control.  We can have a disciplined mind, and be wise in the ways that we think and act. Just think of it; your mind doesn’t have to control you!  You can control your mind!  That is self-control.

I want to also talk a little about the fear of the future in another sense.  I can remember when I started to get well that I was afraid of getting well.  Can you believe that?  Who wouldn’t want to get well?  I wanted to but I thought if I did get completely well then my life would have to change a lot.  I had stayed at home for years not even free to go out of my house without having a panic attack.  I’d have to get a job, drive again, be around other people.  To me those were very scary things.  No, it would be more comfortable to just stay as I was.  But, is that what God would want for me?  I had to get a grip on myself and tell myself that God would not let me down.  That He was in control and whatever the future held He would see me through.  It happened that way.  I did get better and I did make a lot of changes in my life, but God took me though it all step by step and day by day.  He did not let me down.  I did not have to fear the future in getting well again.  And, you don’t either!

I encourage you to listen to this sermon.  Dr. Jones really explains why we think the way we do and how we can change.

By the way, if you’d rather you can buy his book, “Spiritual Depression,” by going here:

Spiritual Depression book

I sent for it myself and am enjoying reading parts of these sermons over again as I try to digest it all.  Also, I don’t get anything if anyone buys this book.  This is just for your information.

 

 

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I was especially interested in hearing a sermon our pastor gave recently because he had to deal with I John 4:18  “There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”

I’ve used this scripture before in some of my articles, but I only used part of it, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear…,”  When I first found that scripture I was excited to learn there was no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear.  It was encouraging!  Jesus Christ is perfect love, therefore, He can cast out fear.  It told me the Lord didn’t want me to live in fear, and the way to get rid of it was to allow Him to cast it out.  Wow!  That was a revelation to me at the time.

Now, my pastor took me to a deeper level.  He teaches the Bible verse by verse and deals with scripture in it’s context. 

John was talking to Christians here and he shows us another test of a true Christian, and that is love.  If we love one another, that is the test.  In 1 John 4:12 you will note, “God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us…”  When we are born again God does abide in us through the Holy Spirit, and His love is being perfected in us.  

Also, look at I John 4:17  “By this, love is perfected with us.”  Again he is talking about love being perfected.  It means that as we grow in Christ, His love is made more mature in us.

The “By this,” refers back to the verse above where he says “the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” Isn’t that a wonderful thought.  God and us abide in each other.  If you stop and meditate on that for awhile it really boggles the mind.    

Now, we get back to 1 John 4:18 where he says, “There is no fear in love.”  Here fear means being terrified, and full of dread.  That kind of fear.  

Have you ever thought about this?  Love and fear cannot exist at the same time.  There is no fear in love.  It is not possible.  They are opposites.  If we are full of love, we are not full of fear; and if we are full of fear, we cannot be full of love.  God is love, remember that. And, we are to abide in Him. 

Then, John says, “but perfect love casts out fear.”  What does he mean by perfect love.  Well, actually in the context of this passage, he means that mature love that is being perfected in us as we grow in Christ.  And that perfected love, what does it do?  It casts out fear!  Praise God!  That phrase “casts out,” means throw away like garbage.

Isn’t is so true with us?  We carry around all this garbage all the time.  Wouldn’t you like to simply throw it away?  We talk about excess baggage; well fear is just that.  But, the only way to throw it away and get rid of it for good is to perfect the agape love that God has placed in us.  

We can do that!  I realize some of you are doing that with your lives right now.  You are in the Word, you are in prayer, you are in fellowship with other believers, you are reaching out with love toward your fellow believers.  You  grow and are becoming mature in Christ.  Eventually, when the time is right in God’s eyes, you too will throw off the shackles of fear like it is rubbish and toss it out of your life.  

Also, in 1 John 4:18 he says, “fear involves punishment.”  I’ve thought about that too.  In the context it means the punishment that is awaiting all men at the final judgement day.  Those without Christ should be fearful as they have that to look forward too, but we who know Christ can rest assured that we will not face punishment.  We can be confident and know those fears were cast out when we were saved.

But, looking at us today as we struggle with fear and anxiety doesn’t our fears also involve punishment?  We are fearful that something awful is going to happen, and with those thoughts we actually punish ourselves with stress, anxiety, and more bad thoughts.  When we are fearful of other things in life such as getting a terrible disease, don’t we punish ourselves with thoughts of what might be?  Yes, fear does involve punishment.  We don’t need that!  We don’t need to beat ourselves up that way!

Then, John goes on to say in that same verse, “the one who fears is not perfected in love.”

From what we’ve gone over that would indicate that fearful people are not mature yet in God’s love.  Isn’t that interesting?  

When we finally reach a more mature state then we will not fear.  What can hurt us?  God is in control of everything in our lives.  What do we have to fear?  Why do we punish ourselves with worry?  Worry can’t stop anything or change anything.  It isn’t worth it.  All it can do is make us fearful and stop us from becoming mature in Christ.

I plead with you to take hold of these thoughts and realize you too can be free from fear.  Stay in the Word and renew your mind.  If you are a believer you do not have to live in a state of fear!

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We sang this in church yesterday and the words just made my heart leap with joy that we have such a wonderful, trustworthy friend in Jesus.  The words are more than beautiful.  If you want to hear the music just click on MIDI.  –  Bonnie 

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS

  “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13


Charles C. Converse (1834-1918)

Words: Jo­seph M. Scriv­en, 1855. Scriv­en wrote this hymn to com­fort his mo­ther, who was across the sea from him in Ire­land. It was orig­in­al­ly pub­lished anon­y­mous­ly, and Scriv­en did not re­ceive full cred­it for al­most 30 years.

Music: Erie, Charles C. Con­verse, 1868 (MI­DI, score). In World War I, the tune was paired with the words to “When This Bloody War is Over.” Al­ter­nate tunes:

If you have ac­cess to a better pho­to of Jo­seph Scriv­en or Charles Con­verse that we could put on­line, please click here.

Joseph M. Scriven (1819-1886)


What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.


Shqip | Creole | Español | Français | Русский | 汉语 | Yorùbá

   Provided my NetHymnal at: http://www.nethymnal.org.

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nativity62 

It’s Christmas time again and we focus on the babe in the manger.  Yes, that baby, Jesus, came to die on the old rugged cross. He sacrificed His life so that spiritually dead sinners could have new life.  Jesus was truly God’s gift to us. 

edxmas32

Sometimes that is about as deep as our thoughts go.  I would like to unwrap some other gifts that are under God’s Christmas tree.

I’ve thought the last few days about the greatness of God.  He is absolutely gigantic, humongous, and so huge that I cannot fully comprehend it.  God is enormous.  Just take a minute right now to stop and think about how big God is.  Doesn’t it boggle your mind?  He is out there and has been out there forever.  He created everything and everyone and is in complete control of it all.  He is Sovereign!

1Ti 6:15a NASB …He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

And He can do whatever He wants in any situation.  It certainly does boggle my mind.

Then, think about how huge He is in comparison to us.  That is truly amazing! Dump out a few grains of salt from a salt shaker into your hand.  Then pick out one of those tiny grains and really look at it.  From God’s perspective we must look something like a grain of salt.  We are so teeny tiny compared to Him.  We can simply blow on that little grain of salt in our hand and it will fly away never to be found again.  God could just blow us away in an instant too.  That is sobering!  We are at His complete mercy.  And, he is a merciful God! 

With that in mind, the Bible teaches us how much God loves us. Actually, He is Love.

1Jn 4:16b NASB …God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

We are His own creation and are fearfully and wonderfully made! 

Psa 139:14 NASB I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.

How intricate our bodies are.  It’s amazing how all the different parts of our bodies work together to make us stay alive.  That is all God’s doing to this tiny grain of salt.  Amazing!

Now, do you think this huge God can keep us?  Do you think He can take care of us?  There is no question about that.  His Word is full of promises about how he will provide all our needs. 

Php 4:19 NASB And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

He tells us not to worry or be anxious about anything. 

Php 4:6 NASB Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Do you think that is harsh of Him to tell us to not be anxious about anything?  I say no, because when we are believers He has promised to carry the load for us.  We do not have to worry or fret about anything.  He is truly in control, even when we feel out of control.  You see He is never out of control.  Our problem is that we go according to our feelings, and forget He is there.  That is our downfall!  We have to rise about our feelings and look at the facts.

When we were saved along with the promise of forgiveness of sins and a future home in Heaven came many other gifts that we can unwrap.  In fact, I’ve written about a few of them in the past few months.  Just as a reminder I’ll list some of them here.

cgift7

1.  We are forgiven all of our sins.

2.  We are a new creation.  (inside)

3.  We are adopted into God’s family

4.  We are citizens of Heaven

5.  Our Father will take care of all of our needs.

6.  We are more than conquerors because we now have God’s power of the Holy Spirit living within us.

7.  We will have peace of God, and peace with God.

Those are just a few of the gifts that God has so graciously provided for believers.  They are not for the people of this world, only His special children.  Those who have the family resemblance. 

I believe that we need to take a step back from ourselves.  We need to see ourselves the way God sees us.  When we do we realize all of our problems are really very small even though they don’t seem like it.  If we get our eyes off our circumstances and focus our minds on God, we allow Him to flow through us, and we have the power to make it through our problems.  We will still have trials, but they will not overwhelm us.

We can still be defeated Christians even with all those gifts if we fail to unwrap them use them. We can’t continue to live our lives the way the people of the world do.  Those ways don’t apply to us anymore.  Unbelievers only have themselves to work for them.  I remember before I was a Christian how “I” had to figure everything out, every detail, and I wasn’t always right in my decisions either. I messed things up a lot of the time.  Now, we don’t have to control every situation.  We don’t have to control others. We don’t have to be perfect.  We don’t have to please everyone, only God.  We can relax and know that God is taking care of things for us.  He IS big enough you know! 

I praise God for the wonderful gift of that little baby in the manger.  And I thank Him for all the other gifts under God’s Christmas tree that He has lavished upon us.  Unwrap them for yourself this year.

Eph 1:7-8 NASB In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (8-a) which He lavished on us.

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